When working with emerging writers, I see my role as a facilitator and mentor. This includes critical feedback, editorial support, help with navigating the publishing industry and encouragement. It's important to respect a writer's individual voice, while providing options and suggestions for how they might improve their craft. My twenty-five years of experience as a part-time psychotherapist helps me to be gentle and direct and I often have candid conversations with writers about writers' block and creating healthier writerly habits. I am most interested in literary fiction, and I also enjoy magical realism.
Fee: sliding scale $60-100/hour, based on your income.
Do you have questions about how to improve your writing?
How to navigate the literary world, get published and market your book?
I have mentored emerging and established writers with Diaspora Dialogues, Mentorly, The Writers Union of Canada, and as a Writer in Residence at the Toronto Public Library and have experience in these areas:
- understanding and overcoming writer's block
- editing/revising your work
- preparing your work for a publisher
- writing compelling cover letters
- creating an online platform
- organizing book launches and events
- pitching yourself to event organizers
- working with editors, publicists and publishers
- creating promo squads
- using social media
- preparing to be a more public figure
Are you working on a novel? Need feedback on how to improve it?
1. Written feedback in the body of your manuscript on:
-content, plot, characters, dialogue, setting
-writing technique, including technical ability and style
-ways to revise and edit the manuscript
2. A one hour follow-up meeting (by telephone or videoconference) to:
-answer any questions related to the written feedback (please prep your questions in advance)
-discuss any issues regarding publishing the book
I don't do line edits, but I will make lots of notes in places where the writing shines or "bumps" (is awkward or dull). With the latter, I will offer suggestions and questions for changes.
Fee: $200 for the first 10 pages. After that, I charge $2.60 per page (i.e., for a 300 page manuscript, the fees would be $200 for the first 10 pages, and then $754 for the remaining 290 pages, for a total fee of $954).
How to submit:
-contact me at email@example.com to discuss scheduling. Most evaluations require 15-20 business days, depending on length. The one hour follow-up meeting is booked a minimum of 1-2 days after you receive my completed evaluation so that you have some time to read the feedback and prep questions for me.
-please ensure that your document is double-spaced, twelve-point font with one-inch margins on white pages.
-save in MS Word so that I can use Track Changes to comment within the document OR print and mail to me. If you are submitting by mail please include a self-addressed stamped envelope so I can send it back to you.
Here is a list of my current offerings. All can be customized for various groups and can be either half or full-day workshops.
- Can't Go Under It, Can't Go Over It: This workshop addresses our inner critics, writer-blocking triggers, and strategies and routines that boost writing. All with a touch of mindfulness!
- Emotions-Based Strategies for Writer's Block
- Common Writer Mistakes and How to Avoid Them: This workshop is for emerging writers who'd like to improve their prose.
- How to Be Your Own Editor: Topics include editing vs revision, techniques to look at your writing with fresh perspective and how to get feedback from others.
- Get The Word Out!: This workshop covers self-promotion, including book trailers, social media, working with a publicist, touring, blogging, and launches.
Contact me for my workshop rates. I'd be happy to help you organize a workshop for your group or association.
I was lucky to have Farzana Doctor workshop a key piece of an early draft of my debut novel, The Darkhouse. She was kind and generous with her feedback, with keen insight on how to elevate the material. She also offered perspective on navigating the publishing world from her years as an accomplished and lauded writer.--Barbara Radecki
I went [to a workshop} with a student from my high school's GSA. Meeting an out and successful LGBT author was inspiring for her and Farzana's exercises gave her confidence that she, too, has stories to tell. We both left inspired to take our writing to the next level.--Seff R. Davis
Are your writing efforts stymied by a harassing inner critic telling you that your work is no good? Are you stuck in procrastination mode? Do you want to connect deeper with your fictional characters—especially their darker sides you find a little uncomfortable? Faced with all these issues, I took Farzana Doctor’s “Emotion-Based Strategies for Writer’s Block” virtual workshop. Farzana is a therapist as well as an acclaimed novelist and gave multiple strategies to overcome various writing challenges. Her one-and-half hour session gave me the motivation I needed to get the words back on the page again (plus simple exercises to do when demotivated). I can’t recommend this workshop enough.--Diane Bracuk
I have attended Farzana's workshops on book promotion. Her presentations are always relevant and helpful, leaving me equipped to self-promote my work.--Mary Lou Dickinson
I attended the “How to be your own editor” workshop at Hamilton’s GritLit Readers and Writers Festival. Farzana Doctor did an excellent job. Everyone seemed to get a lot from her workshop. Her insight and sharing of her personal experience was very helpful for new authors like myself.--Steve Authier
Photo credits: Tanja Tiziana and Surita Dey/Brampton Public Library